According to a recent survey by Tork, millennials are three times more likely than baby boomers to believe that coworkers would judge them negatively for taking a lunch break. With millennials now constituting the majority of the workforce in the United States, their reluctance to eat during the workday is putting a dent in weekday-afternoon traffic. To counteract this mindset, brands are taking some interesting approaches. Potbelly, for instance, has partnered with UberConference to play hold music with humorous lyrics meant to make listeners crave a sandwich during afternoon conference calls.
How can your brand attract more lunchtime customers? Here are three proven ways:
- Drive on-premises visits. Timely messages containing lunch promotions should be sent through email or SMS. A buy-one, get-one-half-off promotion is likely to entice people to bring their coworkers and move their meetings outside of the office. Providing Wi-Fi and ample places for electronics to be plugged in will accommodate guests who are looking to get work done while they eat. Even the old promotion involving business cards being placed in a fishbowl can be digitized, enabling entry for the prize with each lunch order.
- Offer advance ordering and quick pickup. People who are hungry but don’t feel like they have much time to spare will appreciate being able to order ahead, whether online or through a mobile app. Advance ordering that is frictionless and easy to navigate makes it convenient for this segment of your guests to grab some lunch and take it back to the office.
- Focus on corporate catering clients. One of the most common office perks is company-provided lunch. The average business spends $1,100 per month on catering, so having that type of revenue can easily compensate for fewer individual orders. Since 30 percent of catering customers order weekly, attracting clients by offering a catering rewards program can provide a significant boost to sales. And if you make a good impression, those corporate employees are likely to visit you on their own time.
To learn more about what you can do to attract lunchtime business, register for our upcoming webinar, “How to Win the Lunch Crowd,” which takes place on July 9th at 1 p.m. EST.
Many restaurants face more of a challenge during the summer months, when regular guests may be out of the area on vacation or taking advantage of the warm weather to grill at home. Using your guest engagement platform to create innovative campaigns will help drive visits and incremental spend. Check out these five proven ways that your restaurant can keep your guests engaged and excited all season long.
1. Prepaid Meal Passes
Last summer, HuHot Mongolian Grill revamped its traditional summer gift card promotion and launched the HuHot Grill Pass. During the month of July, guests purchased the Grill Pass for 5, 11, or 25 entrées and had until the end of the year to redeem them. Since the guests had prepaid for their meals, they were more likely to buy additional items like appetizers and desserts. In fact, HuHot found that purchasers spent 80% more than the cost of the Grill Pass during the redemption period. Because of the initial expense, these passes keep guests coming back again and again.
2. Instant Wins
July is National Hot Dog Month, which presented a perfect opportunity for National Coney Island to reward its guests with instant wins. Throughout the month, new and existing program members had the chance to win free menu items like beverages or fries with every swipe of their loyalty card. After winning, guests had 14 days to come back and claim their prizes. This instant-win promotion not only created excitement but also delivered huge impact for National Coney Island’s business, nearly doubling enrollment and increasing visits by almost 40%.
Giving your guests the opportunity to complete a quest in order to receive a reward is a great way to increase transactions. The Yogurtland Flavor Quest challenged guests to visit and earn stamps in a virtual passport by trying new flavors that were released throughout the summer. The more new flavors they tried, the more yogurt they could earn at the end of the quest. In the first year that this promotion was run through the Yogurtland loyalty program and mobile app, participation tripled and 32% of the participants visited once a week or more.
4. One-to-One Visit Challenges
Giving your guests reasons to visit their favorite location more frequently is a successful way to increase your sales. With one-to-one visit challenges, you can vary the length or the number of visits needed in order to maximize ROI. Whereas infrequent guests might have to make fewer visits over a longer time span, your best guests may need to visit more often over a shorter period to complete the challenge. Using machine learning to figure out the best challenge for each guest gives you the best chance to truly drive incremental visits during these slower months.
5. Win Back Campaign
Summer is a great time to attract guests who haven’t visited recently through a win-back campaign. One particular restaurant experienced great success by sending the richest offers to guests who hadn’t visited in the past 12 months and lesser offers to those who were already actively engaged. During one of its win-back campaigns, the number of visits from infrequent guests increased by 176%. Once these guests have returned, there will be opportunities to keep them coming back all summer.
Learn how you can introduce these high-impact promotions to your marketing strategy – by calling Paytronix at 617-649-3300, extension 5 or requesting a demo today.
Restaurants commonly make three mistakes that restrict their ability to acquire new customers, keep them active, and encourage more frequent visits. You might be limiting the impact of your customer loyalty program without even realizing it, but eliminating these three things will help spur more growth.
- Stop requiring app downloads as the only way to participate. According to a recent Harris Poll survey, 58% of respondents were less likely to join a loyalty program that required them to download an app. Another study revealed that 18% of adults in the U.S. still don’t use a smartphone. Considering the number of people who don’t want to download an app and those who are unable to, why would you make that the only method for guests to enroll? By letting more guests interact with your restaurant in the ways they prefer, you increase your ability to market to them and drive incremental visits and spend. Ideally, guests should be able to enroll at the POS, via text-to-join, and even with a physical card. A mobile app is a valuable tool, but don’t make it your only one.
- Stop sending non-personalized emails. Your customer engagement strategy should be focused on building relationships with your guests. Sending the same generic email to everyone hinders your ability to connect with individual customers. According to SendGrid’s 2018 Global Email Benchmark Report, guests receive an average of seven emails per month per brand, with open rates of about 18%. How can you make sure that your marketing communication doesn’t become part of the 82% that guests never see? One way is by personalizing your emails directly in the subject line. When customers are only one visit away from earning a reward, including that information along with their name in the subject line will cut through their crowded inbox and influence them to visit. Getting customers to enroll is an important first step but keeping them active by communicating timely offers and promotions is what creates value for your restaurant.
- Stop missing opportunities to target nearby guests. An effective way to increase personalization and drive more visits is by utilizing geo-targeting in your marketing strategy. If some of your customers are nearby and debating where to eat, pushing them a notification at that time may be all the prodding needed for them to select your restaurant over all of their other options. Sending targeted messages to nearby guests results in a significantly higher visit rate than cold email blasts. By reaching out when they’re already close to a location and reminding them of available rewards or promotions, you can accelerate their visit frequency and trigger valuable incremental visits.
To learn more about why you should stop doing these three things, check out our free, on-demand webinar, “3 Things to Stop Doing in 2019.”
Do you plan your marketing campaigns months in advance? Do you run the same basic campaigns on a regular basis? Do all of your guests receive identical offers? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, read on to learn how leveraging new technology and changing your approach to a one-to-one model will revitalize your customer engagement program.
Imagine that it’s a random Tuesday and your boss says, “We need to get more guests through the door.” You respond by carefully crafting a “We Miss You” campaign to send out to guests who typically visit often but haven’t been in for a while. You send all of them a visit challenge that promises a reward if they come in once in the next 30 days.
While these types of campaigns are generally effective, is 30 days the right time frame for everyone? In reality, a challenge that has the same message, the same period of time, and the same reward can’t work for everyone. If you send this challenge to guests who usually visit every day, why would you reward them for coming in once in 30 days?
With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning-based marketing tools, one-to-one offers and challenges are auto-targeted for each guest. Whereas, one guest may be asked to visit three times to earn a particular reward, a more active guest may be asked to visit five times to earn a different reward. One-to-one marketing enables you to target guests based on their individual visit behavior. You simply set the parameters – How much do you want to spend? Are guests required to visit within a certain time frame? What are the respective rewards for the challenge? The AI-based system processes these rules to deliver a personalized brand experience to each customer.
As with any type of campaign, Paytronix doesn’t lock you in to a basic set of off-the-shelf promotions. One-to-one campaigns can be leveraged in several ways depending on your brand and business objectives.
- One-to-One Cadence Rule/Uploader: This version of the one-to-one challenge is “On Visit X, use this reward.” And the intelligent algorithm we’ve created will determine the best challenge for each guest.
- One-to-One Continuous/Lapsed Designation: This option enables you to send targeted campaigns all year long, rather than doing so on specific days. You also aren’t limited to a set number of tiers that your guests fall into. For example, typically you have tiers such as; guests that visit less than three times, three to five times, or more than five times. With one-to-one continuous campaigns, you can have an endless number of tiers. Manually, this would take an exorbitant amount of time to craft and set up, but with this feature, guests are auto-targeted for you.
- One-to-One Points/Visit Challenge: This version enables you to vary the thresholds and timeline for a guest’s offer. Some guests may be asked to visit two times in a month for a reward, while others may get a week to visit once to complete the challenge.
Giving control of your promotions to a “machine” can be scary. This feature gives you peace of mind that you are still in control, just with less manual work. You can monitor how your one-to-one campaigns are performing and adjust the parameters in real time to achieve your desired results.
Stop wasting time and brain power on manual campaigns and maximize the return on your marketing investment with a little help from AI. Learn how – by calling Paytronix at 617-649-3300, extension 5 or request a demo today.